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Planned Jerusalem highway angers local residents

  • March 23, 2023

The Jerusalem Municipality is moving ahead with a new highway (Road 34) between Pat Junction and the Talpiot Industrial Zone. The four-lane highway will run alongside the new Jerusalem light railway line and across part of Park Hamesila – railway park (along the former line between the German Colony and Malkah). The new road will be financed from the light rail budget.

The plan has received major opposition from local residents who claim that the new highway will encourage use of cars in the city and spoil the experience of the railway park. Previous objections from local residents led the then Minister of Transport Merav Michaeli to suspend the plan last October.

The municipality says a seven meter high bridge across the new road will be built so that the railway park’s continuity will be preserved and stresses that Road 34 is vital so that Talpiot can develop further as an urban business and residential center.

Yossi Saidoff, one of the activists who worked for the building of Park Hamesila and chairman of the Katamonim neighborhood community administration says, “Building a four-lane highway alongside the light rail is unnecessary and does extreme damage to pedestrians for the benefit of cars. The municipality must change direction and adopt Park Hamesila and encourage opening local businesses around it.”

City planner Itamar Shahar adds, “Jerusalem Municipality speaks high about reducing dependence on cars but while one hand is investing billions in the light rail infrastructure, the other hand is building a new road based on old and anachronistic plans.”

Jerusalem Municipality said in response. “The road will serve new Talpiot developments from two central axes, along which public transport will move, including the light rail. Most of the vehicles will enter and leave the neighborhood through these roads. The need for two central axes is critical to its success.

“At the same time, in light of the planning concept and the importance of Park Hamesila, a bridge will be built that will allow micro-mobile traffic and pedestrians to continue moving along the rail park.”

The Ministry of Transport said, “The decision to promote the road takes into account the needs of all road users, and produces balanced solutions for the well-being of the residents of Jerusalem and its visitors.

“It should be noted that an additional entrance to the industrial area in Talpiot is expected to reduce the traffic congestion from Ha’oman Street, which will undergo a significant upgrade. Also, the new road will improve bus services in the area, without affecting the traffic of other road users and will meet expected demands.

“At the same time, investigations carried out show that only about 100 pedestrians and cyclists pass through the park each hour. However, in order to prevent possible harm to the park and its visitors, it was decided to build a pedestrian bridge, which will continue the walking and cycling route, without the need to cross a road.”

Published by Globes, Israel business news – – on March 22, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

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